Last night the village board voted in favor of the Wilmette Zoning Board's recommendation to grant Our Place a special use permit to continue use of our church building. Here is the letter that went out to our congregation and community this morning from the church:
I wanted you to know that Our Place is still permitted to stay within our facilities after the Wilmette Village Board voted in favor of granting Our Place a special use permit in last night's meeting. Join us on September 9th during Sunday morning worship as we celebrate the work accomplished, where the president of Our Place Jane Gallery will be joining us.
This has required a lot of hard work from people associated with Our Place and from our own congregation. A big thank you to all of our active participants who have shown up to the zoning and village board meetings, to those who have spoken, written letters, and met one on one with trustees and board members. So many of you have let the community know that Our Place is not just a great organization, but an extension of the ministry we strive to accomplish as a congregation.
While most of us have never found ourselves continually wondering if our children will be welcomed within various spaces, Our Place parents have reminded us through their words and letters how vital our ministry of hospitality and support has played in their lives.
There is still much work to be done. The joint task force between CCW and Our Place will pick back up and continue reviewing the possibility of a long-term space sharing agreement. Our Place is still undergoing a long-term strategic plan that will help them decide if the facility can best serve their programming over the next decade. The questions the Church Council continues to discuss is not new to our church's conversations. We continue to weigh if our ministry is best served in this building space or if our resources are better served elsewhere. We also continue to ask how much of the ownership we are willing to pass to Our Place.
The questions that we are facing will shape our future and are ones that we as a congregation will ultimately have to decide on together. Yet, our friendships, bonds, and partnerships with organizations like Our Place remind me that we are able to accomplish greater things when done together.
It is a joy to be part of the ministry of this congregation with you and an honor to know how much care each of you provides for organizations within our community, such as Our Place.